Sparks come early from Panthers, not Firestorm in Chapman win
ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's basketball team jumped out to a double-digit lead early on and never looked back, defeating visiting Arizona Christian University 71-59 at the Hutton Center on Saturday night. The win was the Panthers' 13th in their last 16 games and improved their home record to 8-2 this season.
A three-pointer by senior G Brandon Lin with 11:26 to go in the first half gave Chapman (17-7) a 16-point lead as the Panthers out-scored Arizona Christian 24-8 in the first 8-plus minutes of the game. The Firestorm would cut the deficit to 10 points late in the first half, but Chapman closed out the half with a 36-22 advantage. Senior F Ben Ricard scored 10 of his 14 points in the half to lead the Panther attack.
Chapman advanced its lead to as many as 18 points early in the second half, but Arizona Christian rallied thanks to some long distance shooting. The Firestorm made seven three-pointers in the half to keep the game relatively close. Twice in the final two minutes, ACU cut Chapman's lead to single digits but never got closer than nine.
Lin led all scorers with 24 points – his seventh straight game with 20 or more – including a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore PG Garrett James also sank a pair of triples and finished with nine points. The Panthers out-rebounded the Firestorm 34-25 and committed just eight turnovers.
For Arizona Christian (10-16), junior G A.J. Koch scored a team-high 12 points. Sophomore F Daniel Cornelius added 10 points and two of the Firestorm's 10 three-pointers in the game.
The Panthers conclude their regular season at home against Division II Black Hills State (S.D.) on Thursday at 7 p.m.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director